The Great Shepherd
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
The Shepherd: Nurturer and Protector
Provision of food and water
Restoration and Leadership
Where He Leads Me I Will Follow
The Irony of the Valley
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The Valley is associated with being down, low, and between high spots in life. The valley is dark, and sometimes has predators. However, the valley is also likely to have water and edible vegetation as well. The Shepherd leads us to green pastures and still waters. He restores us! Often, though, it happens in dark times. Dark times are frightening, ominous, intimidating. The psalmist understood the challenge of the valley. However, He also understood the God of the valley.
The Comfort of His Presence (The God of the Valley)
The Favor of the Lord
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Favor in the Face of Opposition
Permanent, Eternal Goodness and Mercy
Hold the Phone: You Are Making No Sense!
Job 13:12–16 (NKJV)
12 Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Hold your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!
The Futility of Words
He considered his friends words on no effect, even worthless
An Attitude of Faith: I Will Believe!
14 Why do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
The Good Lord’s Promise
Psalm 86:5–8 (NKJV)
5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. 7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me. 8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works.
He is Good (The God of the Valley)!
Great God (You are Good, You are Good, You are Good!)
The Valleys Will Come
The God of the Valley is Always There
Trust the Good God of the Valley!